Google Now Providing Phone Support for Places Verification – What Took So Long?
Back in May of 2012, in a move that angered and confused many business owners, Google began to merge its Google+ and Places platforms together to form Google+ Local. The transition was so clunky that blogger Mike Blumenthal labeled the entire debacle a train wreck. Now it appears that Google is attempting to clean up the wreckage and provide a little assistance for a change. While I can’t believe this is happening, I’m glad it is. Google is finally answering the distress calls of business owners everywhere. What the heck took the company so long? Well, we don’t know, and don’t care as long as they keep it up!
How to Receive a Phone Call by Google
Using the method I outline below, I got Google to call me. It can be a bit confusing to follow all the steps, but in the end, Google actually called me back. How many people can honestly say that?
To get that call, you must visit the Google support pages where you will tell Google a little more about the issues you’re facing. Their purpose here, is to help weed out the situation that would certainly not apply, or get people
Click on the second link, “Verification Issue,” and answer the questions to the best of your ability.
The reason for the inquisition is that Google wants to know that you have exhausted all possible options before you resort to phone verification. While not all answers result in the phone verification form, a few will. If you do get the form, this is what you’ll find.
Provide Google with your contact information and wait for a call. I used this option first and waited a few hours for a call but none came in. So, I answered the questions differently and received the same form, only this one had an additional “Call Us” link.
After clicking that, I was directed to another form. This is how you can get Google to call you right away.
After you leave your number, your phone will ring and the recording will prompt you to dial one to speak to a live representative. That is the option I used to talk to Aide who provided me with the following answers to my questions.
Us: When Did Google Start Providing Phone Support?
Google: Google started the phone verification support program this week and according to Aide, it is not scheduled to end anytime soon. This is a big step for Google, as the company is not typically known for offering phone support of any kind. For the company to step in and provide dedicated support to this issue proves that Google is desperate to regain the confidence and support of its business users.
Us: When Should a Business Owner Use Phone Verification Support?
Google: The phone support options is for the verification of listings only. We are not handling support for other platforms or problems (at this time). If you have a problem outside of the verification process, you should submit a trouble ticket describing the issue in question.
It will be interesting to see if Google expands phone support to help with other platforms, like Maps and MapMaker for instance. I plan to monitor the situation closely and will keep you updated if any new information comes in.
Us: What Steps Should Users Take Beforehand?
Google: Go through the verification process first and only call support if you get stuck.
Us: Is the Support Team Local to Me?
Google: The Google support team is located in California.
I asked her if it was possible to contact her specifically in the future if I had additional questions.
She said that the support system is random, which means that any future call I make will likely be routed to someone completely different. However, she said that if I ask for her, I can usually be transferred to her line if she’s available.
How Are Users Reacting?
Mike Blumenthal is considered an expert on Google+Local and even he is shocked by this move. After contacting Google to prove that the phone support team actually exists, he wrote, “After I picked my jaw up from the floor I thanked him and let him go on with his day. Needless to say I was shocked.”
And if you read the comments on his blog, he’s not the only one who’s shocked. One commenter calls it, “a Category 12 earthquake from Mountain View to start the year!!” Another eloquently states, “Hell. freezes. over.”
The general consensus, it appears, is that people are shocked and awed by Google’s move to provide better support to its local business platform. Hopefully this system will help to resolve many of the issues users are currently facing. And who knows, we may see more phone support systems set up across the board.
My Experience With the Google Verification Phone Support System
The first time I went through the process of answering questions to speak to a Google rep, I waited two hours and no call came in. It wasn’t until I used the “Call Us” feature that I actually got through.
I inserted my phone number when prompted, my phone rang almost immediately and the recording told me to dial one. After a short musical interlude, I was connected with Aide.
My experience with this system was very positive. I was connected almost right away, Aide was pleasant and incredibly helpful and she answered all of my questions. I probably could have kept her on the phone longer if I had more questions to ask.
Never once did I feel rushed or that she was being rude. Overall, I felt that I had her undivided attention and that she was there to make sure I understood and succeeded with Google+ Local. That’s what a support team is for and it seems that Google’s is incredibly effective.
The Google verification phone support system is available during U.S. business hours and so far it appears to be successful.
Is Google turning over a new leaf to provide stellar support for all of its products? Let’s hope so. And If so, it’s about time.